Two Pieces for the Whirl

disheartened spirit

Up from the ashes roaring
like a phoenix we should rise,
proud Americans,
scraping our hopes on the underside of freedom,
building our dreams, simple in the bold bright promise
of pockets one day filling.

Nine-Eleven’s devastation
an urgent Congress passes laws
designed to keep us wary
designed to keep us safe
designed to keep us
under control.

Shift our attention to strengthening our borders,
good fences make good neighbors.
Ron Paul cautions that fences can also be used to keep people in.
America, America, God shed his grace on thee.

Spending spins out of control,
military build-ups,
now the people’s pockets empty.

Dignity falters and my spirit grows sad,
disheartened at the discontent
of congressional impasse.
Jolted into unimaginable debt,
we can’t even balance our budget.
My country ‘tis of thee
letting the rich run free
cut through those loopholes
that bind the greater we.

Process Notes:

I am not so naïve to think that restoring equity to America’s tax system is the only thing that will solve her budget woes, but the resistance of the rich gets under my skin. Warren Buffet (the third richest man in the world) illuminates the inequity of the American tax system to a group of his peers, “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.” Thank you, Mr. Buffet. Unfortunately, the Republican ruled Congress does not agree with him. It makes me so dang angry, that I wrote two pieces….this one was the second, but my favorite of the two. My intent was to go somewhere else with disheartened spirit, but either the words or my muse would not steer clear of the topic.

I think a great deal of what Ron Paul says makes sense. However, he would not raise the taxes of the rich, stating on David Letterman that they “already pay their fare share.”

If you want to read the first piece I wrote with this week’s Sunday Whirl words, it follows.


Hang the Rich

Build a nation
then cut it down,
jolt it into modern nows.
Curtail false dignity
inflating bold ideation
roaring over the burdens
pausing passersby for pennies
(pennies!) in the street.

Pockets of people
starve and scrape.
Pockets of people
grow deep beneath loopholes
emboldened by the headiness of wealth.

Other faces puff up over dollar signs
faces that purchase control
faces that face an urgent
“we the people” smiling through their teeth.
Simple faces,
dancing in the glory of their shining yellow gold.

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and
murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
~George Orwell

21 thoughts on “Two Pieces for the Whirl

  1. Brenda, I like how you end, wanting to unbind the “greater we”. Nicely said, and a great contrast with “now the people’s pockets empty.” I like how your poem resonates with “we the people”.



  2. I loved the spirit and energy in both these amazing pieces. I especially liked the way you used the words from the song, America, in the second poem.

    “Jolted into unimaginable debt, we can’t even balance our budget.” These words fill me with incredible indignation and outrage. I am greatly concerned for the future of our nation, the future where our children and grandchildren will live.


  3. Great stuff brenda. I agree with MMTeacher, writing poetry is political sometimes. I’m big fan of Russian poetry, there’s a lot poets who suffered under who was ever ruling at the time.

    Rest the times is devoting being a badass. 😎


  4. I know very little of American Politics but brenda the titles of both your poems are like national anthems of the ordinary people here in India!!……..and the battle continues whichever party is in power!! They are all the same and wanting to fill their already overflowing pockets!! I respect the common people’s sentiments wherever in the world!!


  5. Brenda, I was moved by the note of frustration and hope intermingled. You’ve captured the current spirit of America in lyrical lines. I hope everyone’s pockets will be filled.


  6. Well, Brenda it seems you have hit proverbial nail on the head. I do love both of these pieces. I admire Mr. Buffet, in fact my niece works for one of his companies in Manhattan. Though, I can’t adhere to much of what Ron Paul has to say. There are so many pros and cons about the fence at the border. But I won’t express my view here, suffice to say, you have written two very strong pieces here. 🙂



  7. Each piece is thought-provoking on its own terms. I gave up politics to become a humanitarian, but there are times when it cannot be avoided – and it’s a poet’s choice to throw light in these dark areas. Thank you.


  8. Thank you, Brenda, for so eloquently and powerfully expressing your thoughts, which happen to be my thoughts too. Both poems are brilliant. Yesterday, I went to a poetry workshop, which happened to be all women. It was about 9/11 and the topic was “Gimme Shelter” with various poems and songs as examples. We were then told to write a modern pantoum that incorporated shelter…many political poems arose from this group and we discussed that most poets are often political. One woman’s poem dealt with Homeland Security and “Big Brother.” I am very discouraged at the situation in our country and the boondoggle Congress has become.


    • Diane, I am envious of the poetry workshop you attended. Workshops fill me up, and it’s been a few years. I’m disappointed with the “boondoggle” too…guess that’s obvious from my words. I would hope to look to our government as models of mediation and honor, and I’m just not seeing it.

      Thank you for sharing your ideas of the political in poetry…it’s an interesting thread in these comments. I can almost hear the echo of pantoums at the workshop, and would love to read yours.


  9. Some thought-provoking verses here, Brenda. There aren’t any simple solutions to our country’s mess, unfortunately. I’d like to think there are, but it’s so complex a situation – made deliberately so by pols on both sides of the aisles – that nothing short of a massive disaster is likely to make a real impact.


  10. America seems to have lost its way this past few years, being a world leader it has thought that it has to ‘police’ the world too, instead of dealing with its own home grown problems. As an outsider, I can only say, that I hope things begin to look up for you all soon because, China is starting to bite at your heels for top dog position on the world stage and, it’s happening.


    • I wrote another piece, that I didn’t post, that talks about that very issue with China. With their distaste for female babies, they grow an army of men while America bankrupts herself fighting wars (with shady beginnings) on foreign soil.


    • Thanks Mary for sharing your thoughts. Political poems are amongst my favorite to read and to write, and I’m still pondering MMTeacher’s idea that if you write poetry you are political. I think she’s right, especially if you expand the political beyond governmental constraints.


share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s